click on link for a virtual tour of this special property.
National Assoc. of Realtors has your back February 1, 2013
When it comes to the fiscal cliff or any of the myriad issues surrounding it, NAR is always watching to achieve policy that benefits the nation’s property owners.
January 2013 | By Gary Thomas NAR President
As the fiscal cliff debate raged, the National Association of REALTORS® was intent on not adding to the confusion by speculating on what might happen given one scenario or another. Yet, I can’t overstate how much work was happening behind the scenes to minimize any potential impact on real estate.
The result was that on Jan. 2, the same day the House passed the bill to avert the fiscal cliff, we were providing information to all of our state and local associations about specific provisions of the bill that affected real estate.
While the debate was underway, we felt it was a good time to reaffirm our support for the mortgage interest deduction. Although discussions to limit the MID never progressed to an actual proposal, we wanted to remind lawmakers that the MID benefits primarily middle-income families, and any change to it could harm housing and the economy as a whole.
While the legislation that was signed into law in January did not affect the MID, its passage represents a step in a continuing effort by NAR to protect the ability of American families to own a home. The legislation also extended several tax measures of critical importance to our businesses:
•Mortgage cancellation relief is extended for another year. Households that have mortgage debt forgiven by a lender in 2013 as a result of a modification, short sale, or foreclosure will not have to pay tax on the amount forgiven.
•Mortgage insurance premiums remain deductible. Tax filers making less than $110,000 who pay for mortgage insurance can deduct the cost of their premiums on their 2012 and 2013 tax returns.
•15-year straight-line cost recovery on leasehold improvements is extended. For qualified leasehold improvements on commercial properties, 15-year depreciation is extended through 2013 and made retroactive to cover 2012.
•Energy efficiency tax credit remains in force. The 10 percent tax credit, up to $500, for home owners who make energy efficiency improvements to an existing home is extended through 2013 and made retroactive to cover 2012.
Debate will continue in the coming months on long-term solutions to the issues left unresolved by the fiscal cliff bill. As Congress addresses those issues and broader tax reform, you can bet that we’ll continue our vigilance.
2012 recap…highest number of home sales since 2007 January 22, 2013
Central Ohio saw 22,915 single-family and condominium home sales in 2012, up 15.5 percent from the previous
year, according to the Columbus Board of REATORS®. This marks the highest number of residential home sales
since 2007 – the end of the housing boom.
“2012 exceeded our expectations,” said Chris Pedon, President of the Columbus Board of REALTORS®. “Sellers
opened their doors, buyers brought their confidence, lenders gave their best rates and REALTORS® worked eight
days a week.”
The average sale price of a home sold in central Ohio in 2012 was $167,459, which is 7.2 percent higher than in
2011. The average sale price for the month of December was $158,898 – a 7.5 percent increase over the same time
to view complete report go to: http://columbusrealtors.com/NewsDetail.aspx?article=93618176
Now IS the time… January 18, 2013
…not just to buy, but to sell!
The prospects for the Ohio housing market over the next couple of years are bright, the chief economist for the National Association of REALTORS told the state’s real estate professionals.
NAR’s Lawrence Yun told attendees at the Ohio Association of REALTORS Winter Conference that home values could jump 15 percent and is looking for sales activity to increase more than 20 percent over the next three years.
He noted that Ohio was an “improving market in 2012,” with “more room to improve” going forward. “There are good signs that we’re moving in the right direction,” Yun added. He expects the Ohio marketplace to outperform the rest of the country.
Among his key projections:
• Inflation will be notably higher by 2015, rising to 4 to 6 percent. As a result, Yun expects interest rates to rise beginning in July and moving higher over the next few years. He forecasts a 5.5 percent rate by 2015.
• Meaningfully higher home prices due to increased demand and decreased supply. Nationally, home sales are expected to reach 4.69 million units in 2012 and increase to 5.1 million in 2013, 5.4 million in 2014 and top 5.7 million units in 2015. Yun noted that rising household formation, an improved job picture and lower housing inventory levels will contribute to higher prices.
• We will see more unequal wealth distribution between renters and homeowners. “Renters do not accumulate wealth and the renter population is rising,” Yun noted. He cautioned that tighter lending standards is posing a threat to many people looking to become homeowners.
Yun noted that there are potential “hiccups” that could derail the housing market’s full recovery — notably the ongoing fiscal battles in Washington, D.C. and the possibility of the mortgage interest deduction being eliminated or altered in an effort to raise revenue. With today’s historic low interest rates, the deduction has a price tag of $90 billion annually. If rates were to revert back to their historical average, the mortgage interest deduction would tally $300 billion in extra revenue.
Reprinted from OAR (Ohio Association of Realtors)
25 Worst Decorating Mistakes January 11, 2013
I think you will find these all resonate–either we ourselves are guilty of some of these or someone close to us is. Especially number 25…”the toilet rug”. Really, is that a great idea?
Take a look, the pictures really help sell that these are really bad ideas.
Central Ohio home prices on the rise December 20, 2012
November home sales in central Ohio showed healthy gains over last year. There were 1,923 residential sales
during the month of November, a 30 percent increase from the 1,479 home sales in November 2011, according to
the Columbus Board of REALTORS®.
November sale prices for homes sold in central Ohio were up for the tenth consecutive month. The average sale
price of $165,444 was 8.6 percent higher than in November 2011.
The average sale price of homes sold January through November 2012 was $168,198, up 7.2 percent from last year
“The month of November (through February) are traditionally slower months for home sales,” says Jim Coridan,
President of the Columbus Board of REALTORS. “However, with a vitalized housing market, buyer confidence on the
rise and mortgage rates still at an all time low, we just may break away from tradition this winter season.”
The inventory of homes for sale continues to decline. There are now only 10,110 homes available for sale in central
Ohio, 20.2 percent less than November 2011.
“With the combination of increased sales and low inventory, our months supply is down to 5.5. Any time the supply
gets below 6 months, we have a sellers market,” said Coridan. “With a seller’s market, we are going to see home
prices continue to rise.”
Real Estate Activity is Hot! August 3, 2012
According to the Building Industry Association of Central Ohio (BIA), the latest BINNS report for the first half of 2012 showed sales of new single family homes were up 17 percent with 854 sales vs. 733 in 2011.
Single family lot sales were up 22 percent to 506 sales from 414 in 2011. And single-family building permits were up 24 percent with 1,293 permits issued vs. 1,039 in 2011.
Condo activity was also elevated during the first six months of the year. Condominium sales were up 9 percent (401 sales in 2012 vs. 369 in 2011) and permits were up 50 percent (387 in 2012 vs. 258 in 2011). The 1,111 multi-family condo permits issued January through June of 2012 represented a 104 percent over the previous year.
The Columbus Board of REALTORS® reported closed sales for first and second quarter were up 18 percent from 2011 and in contracts were up 58 percent. The median sales price of a home sold in 2012 was $135,000, a 6.3 percent increase over last year. The current central Ohio supply of inventory is at 6.6 months, down 43 percent from last summer.
Last week, the Columbus Dispatch reported sales-tax collections for the first part of the year in Franklin County were the best they’ve been since 2007 – up 7 percent.
The Dispatch report also indicated it was the best second-quarter collection in five years, beating out other surrounding counties in Ohio, which together averaged an increase of 6.3 percent.
reprinted from CBR
Turn Flat Black to Leafy Green June 14, 2012
There are a lot of flat roofs out there, on urban and suburban dwellings and, more commonly, on commercial buildings. There is a “growing” trend (couldn’t resist) to create “live roof”systems that not only look so much better than huge expanses of black rubber, but also help the environment, and decrease energy costs.
Hospitals have been a bit of a leader here. Hospitals seem to be always adding buildings, which so often gives patients and visitors unfortunate views of rooftops. How much healthier to look out upon an expanse of green from your recovery bed! Visitors and family members surely get a lift from seeing living, growing things instead of asphalt and rubber.
Commercial buildings have an advantage that residential buildings usually don’t have–the ability to sustain some weight on the rooftops. An 8 inch live roof system- soil, plant material- can weigh quite a bit per sq. ft. (don’t ask me to tell you–i will include a link that might help) Live Roof offers patented systems( of course) with various depth availabilities based on your roof construction/capacity–ranging from 8 inches to 2.5 inchs. Obviously, the deeper the system (8 inches) the less maintenance.
BUT the Live Roof System Lite (2.5) inches is a great retr0-fit option for some residential properties with flat roofs! Attached here is a link to their website. If interested, have a structural engineer assess your load bearing capacity on your flat expanse of blackness and see if a live roof system is in your future. But you might need a ladder and a watering can….
10 Must Haves when building a home April 27, 2012
If you are having a home built, or buying a brand spankin new house, a lot of convenient design elements, building and code requirements should be in place, but knowing some things to look for, or to make sure your new home has, can save you future headaches. I especially like the “doors opening the right way” (see below). This isn’t about aesthetics but functionality. You are building a pretty house i’m sure, and you want to enjoy it for a number of years without worry– at least until you have to start updating.
Are you always too hot or cold? Ensure your walls are properly insulated.
“Have someone do a good, thorough insulation inspection before you cover everything up,” says Tim Carter, co-owner of Idaho Mountain Builders in Ketchum, Idaho. “Then you can find and repair mistakes of missing insulation really easily.” Proper insulation installation is expected from the insulation contractor’s bid. But some spots, such as rim joists between the first and second floor, are easily missed.
Cost of a retrofit: Thousands of dollars to rip apart walls and add insulation, Carter says.
Outlets and covert conduits
As flat-screen televisions become ubiquitous, homes are changing to accommodate sleek, high-tech models. Often, that means hanging TVs on the wall. But who wants to see electrical and cable cords running down the wall to the entertainment system?
If you want to avoid another costly wall project, plan for where cords and outlets will sit. A conduit is a pipe in the wall that lets homeowners keep cords out of sight. If you want to add solar panels down the road, similar cable conduits running up the roof are a wise investment, Carter says.
Cost of a retrofit: “That’s a couple-hundred-dollar expense during construction when you have the walls open,” he says, “and it can be thousands of dollars after the fact.”
Convenient washer and dryer
Laundry is a chore, but people are beginning to wake up to ways to make the chore less painful. One solution is placing the laundry room near bedrooms, where most laundry piles up.
“We wedge (laundry rooms) into all kinds of nooks and crannies, whatever the floor plan will allow, to get them close to the bedrooms,” says Rob Pankow, owner of Pankow Construction in Phoenix. Laundry rooms often are located near water pipes and ducts, which is why so many of them are in basements or garages. Locating one near a second-floor bedroom requires access to that plumbing infrastructure. If you don’t build that in the first time, you may be in for a large project.
Cost of a retrofit: A few hundred dollars when the walls are open, Carter says. But if the retrofit requires tearing up the floor, it can run into the thousands, Pankow says.
Doors opening the right way
Which way is a door supposed to swing? If it’s opening the wrong way, it may mean more than a headache to the owners. Incorrectly hung doors can block essential components such as other doors, cabinets or refrigerators. Badly installed doors can also hit your pocketbook – they may leak air or water and increase your energy bills. “When it comes to doors, you’ll get incredible cost savings if you do (them) right upfront,” said Rick Bertolani, an owner of JB Sash & Door of Chelsea, Mass. “If you put in a quality product from the beginning, you’ll save in energy efficiency and maintenance.” A door can cost $200 to $300 in labor to install correctly the first time, Bertolani says.
Cost of a retrofit: Simply reversing the hinges and changing the latch location on an interior door can be a headache. A standard exterior door can be even more difficult and costly, Bertolani says. “We’re looking at $800 (to) $1,100 simply for labor,” he says. “If you have to pull out the trim, casing (and) shingles or repaint, installation is dramatically more expensive.”
Heating and cooling
Heating, ventilation and air conditioning are essential to comfort in your home. If built right the first time, with an eye toward energy-efficiency, it can be a boon to your wallet, as well. Badly or incorrectly installed HVAC may mean, at least, a chilly house in the winter and an inconsistently cooled house in the summer. At worst, it may mean high energy bills, carbon dioxide being pulled into your home or worse. It’s tough to adjust it after the fact, says Chris Robl of Robl Design Build Inc. in Bellevue, Wash. “Depending on how your house was built, retrofitting a central heating system could become cost-prohibitive very quickly,” he says. “Aesthetic compromises also almost always have to be made in the form of dropped-down chases and lowered hall ceilings, things like that.” For a standard 2,500-foot house, initial installation might cost about $15,000 to $20,000, he says.
Cost of a retrofit: This could exceed $20,000 if your house doesn’t have a large-enough gas meter, the correct electrical panel or an easy way to route utilities and ducts. “It could get pricey,” Robl says.
Wide-enough hallways and rooms
Many new homes are open and airy, with roomy hallways and stairwells. But not all are, at least not throughout the entire house. Most local building codes require hallways to be 3 feet wide. Many modern designers prefer a width of 4 feet, however, especially for homes larger than 2,000 square feet. This helps more than one person pass through the hall at once and in moving large furniture through the home, in addition to adding bookcases or other design elements to the side. Unsatisfied with your halls? The punch to the pocketbook “depends entirely on how the house was built,” Carter says.
Cost of a retrofit: If the load of the roof is spread to the exterior walls, then it’s as simple as knocking down the interior ones, which costs a few hundred dollars. But if there’s a post in the center of the home that provides load support, the project can cost tens of thousands of dollars to add support beams and posts to carry the load, without the wall.
Drains that actually drain
Drains that don’t work can make a wreck of a house. From slow-draining tubs and showers to stopped-up sinks, incorrect drainage can hit the owner in the wallet. “It’s important to make sure (plumbers are) licensed and insured when they put in their work,” says Paul Abrams, public-relations manager of Roto-Rooter Group Inc. “If you have a handyman who just happens to do plumbing, be wary.” Roto-Rooter often uses a tool to checks that drains are working correctly before the owner moves in. “Right after plumbing is installed, we’ll go in with cameras on tubes and inspect the lines to make sure there is no construction debris inside blocking the lines. You’d be surprised at what we find,” says Abrams, noting that the company has found drywall mud, lumber and trash blocking lines in the past. Owners can spot problems by themselves, as well. Make sure the drain lines flow with gravity and that outdoor drains are more than shallow holes with drain covers on them.
Cost of a retrofit: It may be as little as $100, Abrams says. “If it’s accessible, it may be easy for the plumber to fix, like in a wall.” But watch out if the plumbing issue is in the foundation or floors, he says: “It could be very costly — in the many thousands (of dollars).”
Stuff: Some people lack space in which to put it all. When planning your home, look for framing pockets that are wasted space and put in a door to create a storage nook or utility closet, Carter says. These spaces can be under stairways, between bedrooms and in closets with vaulted ceilings. In the kitchen, it’s important to have space for large kitchen appliances such as food processors, stand mixers and bread machines, so they don’t have to live on the counter.
Cost of a retrofit: It can cost a few hundred dollars to relocate the systems and reroute plumbing and ducts to open more space. Be careful, though, Carter says: Moving a duct can restrict air flow in the house. “The expense isn’t necessarily the money,” he says. “It is the performance of your (HVAC) system.”
Outside outlets and faucets
Electricity can be important for a backyard, for entertaining in the summer and for holiday lights in the winter. Exterior outlets also come in handy for corded tools to keep your backyard looking great. Access to water is essential, as well. You must place hose spigots away from the main walking path, so no one trips over loose hoses. One option is a water hydrant that sits flush against the wall, Pankow says. “Once you are flush, you can stick a spigot right on your patio where you need it,” he says, adding that this makes it easier to turn on the hose and sprinklers.
Cost of a retrofit: Adding outdoor outlets can cost as much as $500, Pankow says. Installing a wall hydrant will range from about $300 to $500, depending on the model and wall work.
Bathroom near the door
You’re outside gardening and all sweaty and dirty. Nature calls, and you need to pop in to use the loo. How far will you have to track mud through your house? A half-bathroom near the exterior door can remedy this issue, in addition to being convenient for guests. It’s extra handy for families with kids who are always running in and out of the house. All a half-bath needs is a toilet, sink and mirror. “If it’s part of the original thought process, then it could be as little as $5,000 to $6,000,” Robl says. “If it’s near the supply and waste lines, the cost could be minimal.”
Cost of a retrofit: Adding a half-bath to a completed project can cost $10,000 or more, especially if it requires moving plumbing or waste lines, Robl says.
( reprinted from MSN Real Estate)
Real Estate Sales Growth April 19, 2012
(Apr. 19, 2012) First quarter home sales in central Ohio were up 7.1 percent versus first quarter 2011 sales (4,045 vs. 3,776). March home sales jumped 36 percent to 1,653 compared to the previous month (1,215) and were up 6.1 percent more than last year (1,558) according to the Columbus Board of REALTORS®.
“This upward trend in home sales began last summer,” said Jim Coridan, President of the Columbus Board of REALTORS®. “Average sale prices are increasing, but at a much more cautious pace.” Average sales price fell 30.6 percent from its decade high of $192,642 in June 2005 to $133,604 in February 2009. The average sales price of a central Ohio home in March 2012 was $153,557 – 6.5 percent higher than one year ago. The 3,466 homes listed for sale in March marks a 56.7 percent increase over the previous month, but is still 10.4 percent lower than March of 2011. The median list price of new listings last month was $149,900 – 3.5 percent higher than one year ago.